TomTom created the easy-to-use navigation device, one of the most influential inventions of all time. Since then, we have grown from a start-up, into a global technology company.
Software and navigation technologies made by TomTom power over hundreds of millions of applications across the globe. This includes industry-leading location-based products and mapmaking technologies, embedded automotive navigation solutions; innovative personal navigation devices and apps, and advanced telematics fleet management and connected car services.
We continue to shape the future, leading the way with autonomous driving, smart mobility and smarter cities.
The Automotive & Licensing business licenses maps, online services such as traffic and navigation software, to customers as components to use in their applications. These location-based application components are licensed through our Automotive business unit to automotive customers (mainly OEMs and Tier1 head unit vendors) for in-vehicle navigation, ADAS and Autonomous Driving. Through our Licensing business unit we provide these components to other than automotive customers such as technology companies, geographical information systems (GIS) providers, governmental bodies and traffic management institutions. Many customers, particularly automotive customers, use our system integration service to help them integrate our components into their navigation application systems.
Founded in 1991, the company has grown from a Dutch-based start-up company into a leading multi-national, global brand. The original founders remain committed to the business and together with over 4,700 employees are focused on driving innovation and helping people achieve their goals.
The compay began with software development for B2B mobile applications and personal digital assistants (PDAs) for consumers in 1991. Soon after, TomTom became the market leader in PDA software with navigation applications such as RoutePlanner and Citymaps. In 2002, the TomTom Navigator was launched providing customers across Europe with an easy-to-use, affordable navigation solution for the first time.
A year after the successful launch of TomTom Navigator, it was clear there was a strong demand for an all-in-one, easy-to-use, portable navigation device. The result was not just a new product, but also an entirely new category in consumer electronics: the Portable Navigation Device (PND). The PND became the fastest selling consumer technology device in history, as the trusted travel companion for millions of drivers. Demand grew rapidly across Europe and North America and in the 11 years since its launch, over 78 million TomTom PNDs have been sold in 41 countries.
In the years that followed, we continued to innovate and create new products, both in the B2C and the B2B segments. In 2013, our consumer product portfolio was extended with TomTom GPS sport watches, providing sport enthusiasts easy-to-use devices on their wrist, eliminating the need for chest straps, smartphone and wires during their workout. In 2015, the TomTom Bandit action camera was launched, the first with a built-in media server, making it easy to create and share videos in a matter of minutes.
Over the years, we acquired a number of new businesses including Datafactory (which formed TomTom Telematics), Applied Generics (which formed TomTom Traffic), the automotive engineering team from the Siemens R&D division (which formed TomTom’s Automotive business unit) and TeleAtlas, one of the largest digital mapmaking companies in the world (which formed TomTom Maps).
These acquisitions provided specialist data, technology, knowledge, and resources to deliver a best-in-class navigation and location-based experience for our customers.
Our Telematics business grew into a leading global provider of fleet management and vehicle telematics solutions, reaching an installed base of 605,000 vehicles at the end of 2015. Telematics is recognised as the largest and fastest-growing telematics provider in Europe today.
We are revolutionising the way maps are delivered, with our new transactional mapmaking platform, that will enable near real-time maps. With the deployment of this important technological innovation, we are uniquely positioned to fully address the need for highly accurate and always up-to-date maps. TomTom is committed to using the NDS map format, which is integrated into our navigation software on device-based and server-based navigation applications. The strength of our technology resulted in TomTom becoming a key partner for important strategic collaborations for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving over the recent years. Together with our state-of-the-art real-time traffic information and navigation software, The companies products are sold to customers across various markets, reaching over 800 million people around the world every day.